In a Vase on Monday: Dawn Chorus

At 4.30 this morning one of our resident blackbirds started singing outside the bedroom window. Whether he was doing it out of pure joy, or had a really important message to broadcast, I don’t know. He is always the first to start and when the whole woodlands above our house wake up it is deafening outside! At this time of year I can enjoy it, roll over and go back to sleep. When the weather warms up and the window is open it is, however, another story… Anyway, the cheery blackbird inspired my vase title today… even if the contents have little to do with dawn except perhaps the “dawning” of spring.


Yes, Monday rolls round again and this week my vase for Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday meme, where we are invited to find materials from our gardens to bring indoors, is full of spring sunshine (on a cloudy day) and promise… the Forsythia and Flowering Currant have not quite opened. The daffodils and hellebores are in full bloom now, and the hazel catkins are finally pollen free and safe to bring indoors again. I also added a bit of ivy, some red Euphorbia and some golden Euonymus.

“Morning has broken, like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird”


The soft toy blackbird is a bit cheeky don’t you think – he was borrowed from our little dog and is one of the many toys she doesn’t play with! She is fascinated by the blackbirds in the garden, and they tease her, hopping across the lawn just a couple of metres away. But she knows she mustn’t touch…


It looks like something has nibbled at that daffodil, but I do like the tiny tinges of orange on the trumpet.

Do you ever get woken by the dawn chorus?

Take a look at Cathy’s vase today at Rambling in the Garden, as well as all the others that have linked in from around the world with lovely contributions.

Thanks for hosting, Cathy!


42 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Dawn Chorus

  1. Love your spring-tide vase today Cathy. Yes, I’m woken by the dawn chorus but I don’t usually hear it until the windows are open; the little owl wakes me often but I can’t be cross I feel very honoured that she has chosen our house to live on.

  2. Gorgeous! I love the variety you have included here, and especially the little blackbird keeping watch. A perfect arrangement for this iffy weather! What sheer artistry to include the deep red Euphorbia. It is such a splendid accent against your yellows and golds. You may feel safe bringing in those hazel catkins, but I’m not so brave 😉

    • I have watched the clouds of pollen in the garden over the past couple of weeks, but they seem to have ceased now so I think the catkins are pretty much pollen-free. We don’t actually get hayfever, but it does irritate the nose and skin nonetheless! The red Euphorbia seem to look good almost all year here and I rarely have to cut much back.

  3. I have just started to notice the dawn chorus this year Cathy – it must be getting louder now that spring is here. It is kicked off by the rooks in my garden – I have read that as they nest so high they see the first hint of dawn before the other birds. Then the blackbirds and all the rest. I love your vase today – spring in a jar! I must go and have a look for some hazel catkins – they are lovely.

    • I like that idea that the rooks like to see the morning dawning first… typical of their nature! We have crows at the tops of our trees, but thankfully not near the bedroom window! Hope you find some catkins!

  4. Oh your vase sings of spring Cathy. I must conquer my reluctance to grow euphorbia (based on skin allergies). I’m missing out 😦 I love the little blackbird. If you not come across them already the RSPB do a range of soft birds that sing as well. Having said that from what you say you probably have enough singing birds. We get woken by the dawn chorus but also sometimes have problems getting to sleep as it’s so light at night that the birds often sing well into the early hours. It always sounds louder then.

    • I rarely need to touch the euphorbia Anna, as it is very easy to grow and doesn’t often need attention. I have never had any problems with it myself though. We had a nightinggale the first summer we were here and he/she sang its heart out every night until about 2 am! It was a lovely sound, at the bottom of the garden, so not disturbing at all. We occasionally see them, but I haven’t heard one since then.

  5. The Forsythia, Flowering Currant and Hazel catkins all add an airy expanse to the vase today. The shade of red Euphorbia looks great with the daffodils. Glad you found cheer from the blackbird. Last year we had a woodpecker in love with our gutter. What a racket it made!

    • Oh I bet that woodpecker got on your nerves a bit! We seldom hear them pecking, but there are lots around our garden with a call that sounds as if they are laughing!

  6. Yes, a blackbird at both ends of the day for us too, and I am afraid I have earplugs to hand just in case! Your soft version was a great prop – and quieter too! That red euphorbia is definitely striking and was a great addition to your spring offerings – definitely a vase of its time. Thanks for sharing

  7. That is funny Cathy, that I also used a soft toy in my post today (two toys actually)! Your arrangement is lovely as usual. The Forsythia and hazel are perfect additions, I do wish I had some interesting plant material like that! (must get planting…) Happy Spring 🙂

    • Hi Dana, yes really a coincidence! We have far too many soft toys and one day they will have to be sorted out too! Forsythia is such a lovely shrub in spring and then blends into any planting the rest of the year. I love bringing it in to force every so often throughout the winter too.

    • That’s interesting, as it really is so noisy here. But then I do live next door to the woods which makes a big difference. When we lived in town we barely noticed the dawn chorus, even though there were lots of gardens around us.

  8. What a lovely piece of writing, Cathy. I could almost hear that blackbird sing! How cute that you used the dog’s toy to go with those vibrant yellows in your vase. I’m so happy spring is blooming in your beautiful garden.

    • Thans Alys! Yes, the yellow beak goes nicely with the daffodils! We have several pairs of blackbirds in the garden and they do sing so nicely during the daytime too. 🙂

      • The only “black” birds we see here are crows, and unfortunately they are noisy and aggressive, making off with a lot of eggs from smaller nests, dig up the worms, etc. They mate in May, so we get a full month worth of cacophony when they do. Ah nature, some you enjoy, some you endure.

    • Yes, I thought of that saying too Brian…. it didn’t stop me from going back to sleep though – 4.30 is just a bit too early, no matter how juicy the worms are! 😉

  9. You have the right combination of early birds singing and early plants flowering. Grande Ouverture! The Blackbird-toy is so cute. It looks so smart and made me smile 🙂 ~ as well as the flowers did!

  10. I love that song – and haven’t heard it in ages. (I Googled it and listened to a replay just now.) Your vase is a perfect accompaniment to the lyrics with the bright daffodils and the dark, red-black color of the hellebore and the vase itself. Wonderful!

    I’ve no blackbirds to wake me up quite that early but the birds do appear to be everywhere in the garden. I expect there are nests hidden in the shrubbery and the eaves of the house. They’re certainly consuming mass quantities of seed at lightning speed.

    • Hi Kris. The birds are getting ready to nest here too, and I have cleaned out the nesting box in anticipation. We usually get some blue tits in it. I’m glad I reminded you of that song! 🙂

    • Thank you Rebecca. It is still a matter of picking what I can find at this time of year and then seeing if it goes together or not. But the spring flowers will be coming on in leaps and bounds now and i will have lots of choice… Thanks for visiting!

  11. I love the morning birdsong, Cathy. It seems to me that we get the most pre-dawn bird activity in the summer months. And I love to hear it while the sky is still dark. The yellow in those daffodils is just scrumptious! I wished this week that I had more flowers. I have a lot of succulents and herbs, some well-established gardenias (not yet blooming) and camellias. My roses are just starting to bloom. I miss bulbs and annuals. In the current climate challenges I’m just not planting anything requiring extra water and care. It’s a big loss! I do love to see what is blooming in yours, and your vase is just lovely this week. 🙂

    • It is a loss indeed Debra and I do hope this ongoing drought will soon change. Camellias are lovely flowers… I can’t risk growing them due to frosts here, but some people in this area manage to keep them if they have a sheltered spot. Roses are pretty resilient aren’t they… they don’t flower till May or June here but they seem to survive the hardest winters and the hottest summers. Glad you are enjoying my vases! 🙂

  12. Lovely arrangement. Catkins and daffodils always say that Spring is here.
    The birds are all singing their little hearts out but the blackbird’ s song is exquisite, I love those liquid notes.

    • I do love hearing the blackbirds singingwo years ago we had a blackbird with a very VERY annoying ending to his song. Can’t describe it, but it sounded as if he was asking a sarcastic question in a mocking tone! I was so pleased when he moved to a neighbour’s garden two doors away last summer, and this year I haven’t heard him at all!

    • I do love to hear the blackbirds singing too Chloris, but two years ago we had one with a VERY annoying song – it sounded as if he was adding a sarcastic question to the end of his song! Last year he moved to a neighbour’s garden and i only heard him occasionally, and this year I haven’t heard him at all, thank goodness! The current singer is lovely though!

  13. A real beauty Cathy! I have to trim some Apple branches and Forsythia and let them bloom inside we still have 3+ feet of snow.

    JT would never let me take her toys lol you remember when I washed them and hung them on the line to dry lol. Our yard had a flock of these birds show up so feeders emptied real quick 🙂

    • I remember you washing JT’s toys! LOL! Yes, bring some branches indoors Eunice, just to remind you that they WILL flower eventually! I hope it warms up soon for you!

      • Warming slowly a day here and there slow melt or we will float away 🙂 So happy to see my Heron return today 🙂

  14. Such a gorgeous arrangement!

    Plenty of sweet little chickadees to wake us up in the morning here, and of course there’s usually the ruckus caused by the magpies and crows. Right now we’re spared because it’s still too cold to leave the windows open. 🙂

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